Video #3: Bringing in Your Buyers with Backmatter
Help Your Hot Leads Join
As I’ve mentioned before, there is no hotter prospect to read more books or find out more about you than someone who just finished and enjoyed your book.
I know we have our mental blocks about sharing our material, but a reader at the back of your book is someone you can help by helping yourself. We want this extremely happy reader to become even happier by getting more content from us.
There is a bit of a technological hurdle to overcome if you don’t format your own books. However, once you’ve got a system for optimizing your back matter, you’ll be able to get a higher return from every dollar you spend getting readers into book one. And you’ll be able to get more folks to join your list for free.
Here’s What You’ll Learn
- Why it’s so important to optimize your backmatter.
- What you should include in the back of your book to optimize signups.
- How to increase your chances of getting readers to pull the trigger and join your list.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Enough time to watch the video and complete the homework.
- A copy of your book on your computer or phone and the knowledge of how it was formatted.
- A willingness to make a few simple changes that can make a huge difference.
When Are Readers Most Fired Up?
If you’ve read a book and enjoyed the ending, then you’re experiencing a hit of serotonin that you want to double down on. Readers who are feeling that joy are very open to the idea of keeping up with the author who has taken them on this journey.
This is why we’ve always recommended having a link and a Call to Action for that reader to keep going in the series. We can also get readers to pick up your end-of-book reader magnet to dive deeper into your story universe.
Even if you’re not selling a ton of copies and getting hundreds of readers to the back of your book, optimizing this space can start to make a difference in your number of subscribers.
Backmatter is a Landing Page
You need to treat the last couple of pages of your book the same way you’d treat your newsletter landing page. You don’t want a variety of links to click because you might confuse your reader as to what they should do next. You also don’t want so much content in the back that the reader is getting to The End before the 97% or 98% complete mark.
Give your reader one or two options like Book #2 and a link to your mailing list. Over time, you may need to make multiple tweaks to this “backmatter landing page” to ensure it’s converting readers into registered fans.
What Should Backmatter Look Like?
Following the final word of your story, there are multiple items to include prior to starting a new section in your book.
First, you’ll have an ornamental break followed by a link with a Call to Action to read the next book in the series.
Next, you’ll have an ornamental break followed by a link with a Call to Action to get the freebie for your mailing list.
Finally, in the next section, you can include a blurb to the following book in your series OR a blurb to the free book with another link and Call to Action to buy the book or join your list.
You can conclude with an About the Author section which also would include a link and call to action to your next book or list (see the trend?).
The Power of a Call to Action
I think we need to absolutely abolish the phrase “here’s the link” because it’s not actionable enough to get readers to do what we want them to do. There needs to be a verb that describes what readers should do to make them more likely to click and register.
Start with a hook, like: “Want to follow Sebastian’s next adventure?”
Then tell them what to do, like: “Click and register to get the story for free!”
The portion of your CTA that includes the action you want readers to take should be linked so they can actually click on the link you’re telling them to click.
One Link to Rule Them All
If you are linking to the next book in a series, then you may want to consider a universal link. By using something like the links at Author Helper Suite, Booklinker, or Draft2Digital, you can ensure that readers outside of your territory get sent to the proper Book #2.
There are also helpful data collection aspects of having links like this as they can help you see how many readers are actually clicking those links.
For instance, if you see that 100 people have clicked the link to Book #2, but nobody has bought, you’d probably want to check that everything is set up properly. Keeping track of this kind of information will help you to spot problems and identify opportunities to optimize in the future.
Things to Keep in Mind
Formatting: If you did not format your book, then you’ll want to ask your formatter for an editable copy of the project or request that you pay them to make changes.
Making Tweaks: If you do format your own books, then the same rule of sending emails applies; test, test, test!
Paperbacks: If you change the backmatter of a paperback (perhaps with a QR code), then your page count may change which would necessitate a file and cover change.
Lead vs. Reader: You’ll want to assess whether your lead magnet and reader magnet should be the same or different to snag those excited end-of-book readers.
Multiple Revisions: You may need to make multiple changes over time to get your backmatter just right, so don’t assume that you’ll get it perfect on the first try.
Focusing on Important Tasks
Email automation, reader magnets, and back matter all fall into a category of tasks that are not urgent (though they are important).
It always requires more motivation and fewer distractions to complete these sorts of to-dos. I recommend providing yourself extra time and extra rewards to get this kind of work completed without the urgent “fires to put out” getting in the way.
When you get many of the important tasks of self-publishing squared away, usually all of your work on what’s urgent has a better chance of paying off in the long-run. Making these essential (but seemingly not pressing) steps a priority will counterintuitively get you to your goals more quickly.
Keep Them Reading
Your readers are fired up after finishing your book, so it’s very important to get them to choose to continue with you at this moment.
It may feel strange to treat the back of your book like an ad, but it absolutely is an ad. If you don’t utilize the space, you’ll get fewer sales and subscribers.
Put in the time now to get your backmatter squared away so you can get the most out of this all-important real estate. And once you do, you’ll start to see a steady trickle of additional subscribers for whom you won’t have to pay a dime.
Video #3 Homework
- Create a simple text document with our recommended backmatter changes.
- Pay close attention to the Calls to Action that you include in that document to make sure readers are asked to “do something.”
- Share your proposed changes in a new post in the Facebook Group with the hashtag #EmailVid3.
- Please do make sure to comment on another challenger’s post to let them know what you like about their tweaks.
Video #3 Extra Credit Option #1
- If you don’t format your own books, then devise your plan for how you intend to get these changes (and any revisions) formatted for your book.
- Who will you need to reach out to and when do you plan to take this action?
- Share your upcoming steps in this process in a new post in the Facebook Group with the hashtag #EmailVid3a.
- Also, keep the love going by commenting on another author’s post in the group.
Video #3 Extra Credit Option #2
- If you do format your own books, then let us know what date you will be making the changes in one of your bestselling first in series books.
- How will you make sure that you don’t let the urgent tasks crowd out this essential, important one?
- Share your plan in a new post in the Facebook Group with the hashtag #EmailVid3b.
- And, of course, please comment on another author’s post with some extreme positivity.
In The Next Video
I’m a big fan of the acronym Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM), and that’s absolutely true when it comes to newsletters. By connecting with other authors and engaging in a newsletter swap or group promotion, you can grow your list faster and more effectively.
In the next video, we’ll discuss the art of swaps and how to get the most out of them.
Thank you again for being a part of the Get More Subscribers Challenge!
Bryan and the Email Krewe